Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The One With the Snooker And the Phonics

We are still having a daily struggle with the boy and his reading. He loves books and he loves stories, but the moment you sit him down to do his reading from school it’s like you’re torturing him.

His ‘mark making’- which is bloody stupid trendy talk for writing- is getting much better. Currently it’s all about drawing pirate treasure maps, with X marks the spot, so that’s one letter he can do.

But the reading isn’t going anywhere. Granted the reading books from school are piss boring, but he’s not even trying. There’s only so much ‘Sam has the nut. The Nut is up the tree. Sam goes up to the nut’ that I can stand, so no wonder the boy buggers about rather than read that lot.

So on the advice of other Mums I’ve started trying to engage him in looking at letters and words in everyday life; cereal boxes, signs, shopping lists, DVD covers and captions on the TV.

So last week, when the snooker was on, I pointed out the player’s names to the boy on the screen. This didn’t inspire any interest in him until Judd Trump was playing.

Now someone on the telly called ‘Trump’ is the height of sophisticated comedy to a 5-year-old boy.

‘Those players are called Ding and Trump’ I explained

‘Trump?’ the boy said with his eyes wide with wonder. ‘Trump?’

‘Yes. His name is Judd Trump.’

‘Trump’ he was really laughing now ‘Mr Trump’.

‘Yes Mr Ding is playing Mr Trump’

He was rolling around on the sofa now holding his sides.

‘Ding and Trump’


He went over to the TV screen and pointed to the name ‘Does that say Trump then?” he asked

I joined him and sounded out the letters as I ran my finger along them. Luckily Ding and Trump sound out beautifully and aren’t ‘tricky words’ - which is bloody stupid trendy talk for words whose letter sounds don't then sound like the word when they're 'blended' - which is bloody stupid trendy talk for using the letter sounds to read the word. 

He was still giggling about it all when he went to bed about half an hour later.

So this got me thinking. Maybe the only way to get the boy interested in phonics – which is bloody stupid trendy talk for learning your letters – is to teach him rude words.

Not really bad rude words. Not your four letter eff’s and jeffs. Just some mild schoolboy stuff. After all his main vocabulary currently consists of not just trump but bum, poo, wee, winky, boobies, stinky, smelly and pants, so why don’t we write them down and sound them out? We could spend a pleasant afternoon together trying to ‘blend’, stinky, bum and poo.

Yes I’m that desperate for him to read.

Shall I call social services or do you want to do it?